by Bill Owens SM3/c

The "Dime a Dance" Girls!

I remember in high school I was quite shy and never really learned to dance. Just kind of hung out on the sidelines with some others of my ilk smoking cigarettes and quaffing beers hidden from the views of the chaperones. The lack of dancing skill was soon to be remedied after my enlistment and time in "boots" and service school when I shipped out to the fleet.

Assigned to a ship tied up at pier 17 in San Francisco. How I happened to come upon the educational San Francisco dance emporiums has been forgotten, but I remember using my doctored (age) Navy I.D. to gain entrance and paying my tuition by purchasing rolls of $ .10 cent each dance tickets and buying drinks for the girls.

Without a doubt the dance lessons turned out to be a very worthwhile investment and served me well to this date ('though I'm afraid I once again with a "mind that's willing but a body that ain't" have slipped back to the sidelines. sans both the beer and cigarettes.

The privileges and pleasures that go along with having developed into a Caesar Romero Dance alike (g) were not always to my advantage. I remember one instance in Pearl Harbor where I had teamed up with a really gorgeous gal, bought a big bunch of tickets and was working on an after hour date when a an Army grunt grabbed me by the shoulder and told me the girl I was dancing with was his and if I didn't butt out he was going to clean my clock. Well this guy outweighed me by 50 pounds and I expected he could probably do just that with little trouble. Since he did not whisper his threat to me a few shipmates overheard him said they would back me and told me to tell him to F.O.

Fortified with demon rum and the promise of back up I did just that and continued my entertainment. Unfortunately the "Grunt" also had buddies who had overheard the discussion and somehow the word spread to the degree the entire group had joined forces "Army VS Navy and as the place closed a huge crowd formed outside in a circle surrounding me and the grunt. It was agreed as I recall that when the girl came out of the establishment the two of us would fight. The winner getting the spoils (the girl).

Things were pretty tense (at least as far as I was concerned thinking "well here go the rest of my teeth". At last the door opened and out she came...... "ON THE ARM OF A MARINE" !

Honolulu missed one hell of a brawl, I kept my teeth, and lived to dance another day saved by a "Jar head"! ;-)